monsters at the margins

The old house crouched behind the overgrown trees, weathered boards warped, and windows cracked like the foggy eyes of a weary monster hiding from the townspeople that feared its very existence. But the monster was not to blame for its monstrosity. It had originated from the prejudices and superstitions of the closed-minded people who could not accept difference.

When Jamie first set eyes upon the decrepit dwelling, she sensed the sadness that seemed to emanate from its sagging walls. Her classmates whispered ominous tales of hauntings and vengeful spirits that they claimed possessed the long-abandoned property. Yet Jamie was unafraid. In her young eyes, the house was not a monster but merely an outcast longing for understanding.

As Jamie crept up the creaking steps, images from the house’s past flashed before her like scattered pieces of a forgotten puzzle. She saw wisdom in the face of an old woman bent over a bubbling pot, dancing firelight casting shadows across her wrinkled skin. She heard echoes of young lovers’ laughter reverberating through the empty rooms. She smelled lingering traces of mouthwatering feasts prepared in a kitchen now covered in dust. Generations had taken shelter there, unknown souls who had once called that space home.

The visions faded as Jamie placed her hand upon the scarred wooden door in silent greeting. The house seemed to stir, the very air throbbing with unspoken stories aching to be revived. In that moment, Jamie realised the truth—that “monster” is but a label placed upon that which we fail to understand. As she stepped across the threshold into the unknown, she sensed the house relax into her gentle embrace.

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